Court case

Developments in telecommunications policy being made in the legal system.

T-Mobile and Dish take CDMA network showdown to California Public Utilities Commission

To get an idea of how the Dish/T-Mobile case went in front of the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC), this one bit of testimony might shed some light: They literally started to shut off the lights in the building before all was said and done. The purpose of the hearing was to determine if the CPUC should penalize T-Mobile for lying to the Commission about its obligations in the merger with Sprint. The CPUC approved the transaction in April 2020 with conditions.

Facebook paid billions extra to the FTC to spare Zuckerberg in data suit, shareholders allege

Facebook conditioned its $5 billion payment to the Federal Trade Commission to resolve the Cambridge Analytica data leak probe on the agency dropping plans to sue Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg individually, shareholders allege in a lawsuit. Two groups of shareholders claimed that members of Facebook’s board allowed the company to overpay on its fine in order to protect Zuckerberg, the company’s founder and largest shareholder.

Twitter to Pay $809.5 Million to Settle Securities Suit

Twitter will pay more than $800 million to settle a consolidated class-action securities lawsuit alleging the social-media company deliberately misled investors about user engagement in 2015.

Appeals Court Weighs California Net Neutrality Law

California's net neutrality law could pave the way for conflicting broadband regulations in all 50 states, a lawyer for the cable industry argued to a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. “The question before this court is whether interstate broadband service will continue to be governed by a single, national set of rules, or instead will for the first time face a patchwork of conflicting state regulation,” attorney Scott Angstreich, who represents broadband lobbying groups, told the appellate judges.

Judge Orders Apple to Loosen App Store Restrictions in Mixed Verdict

US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers issued her verdict in the closely watched battle between Apple and Epic Games, saying Apple’s prohibition against developers sending users to alternative ways of making in-app purchases was anticompetitive and permanently prohibited it from doing so. “The Court does not find that Apple is an antitrust monopolist in the submarket for mobile gaming transactions,” the judge wrote.

Federal Trade Commission Unveils Data Backing Facebook Monopoly Case

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) made public for the first time the data it's using to bolster its case that Facebook has monopoly power over social networking. From September 2012 through December 2020, Facebook’s share of time spent by users of social media apps in the US has averaged 92 percent per month, according to a filing in federal court in Washington.

Texas governor signs bill prohibiting social media giants from blocking users based on viewpoint

Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) signed a bill that would prohibit large tech companies from blocking or restricting people or their posts based on their viewpoint, setting the stage for a legal battle with the tech industry.

EU Court states ‘zero tariff’ options are contrary to regulation on open internet access

Two German courts put questions to the European Union Court of Justice concerning the compatibility with EU law of the limitation, on the part of an internet access provider, on bandwidth, tethering or on use when roaming, where the customer chooses such a ‘zero tariff’ option.

CenturyLink Settles Second Level 3 Deal Term Violation

CenturyLink, since renamed Lumen, has agreed to pay the Department of Justice (DOJ) $275,000 to settle the department's complaint stemming from the company's violation of the terms of its acquisition of Level 3 Communications. According to the DOJ, it is the second such violation by CenturyLink. The DOJ will file a civil contempt claim in DC federal court and at the same time ask the court to accept the settlement, which resolves the claim. “CenturyLink is a repeat offender,” said acting Assistant Attorney General Richard Powers of the Antitrust Division.

Democrats push for federal probe of alleged ad collusion between Google and Facebook

Four Democratic members of Congress are calling for an investigation into whether an alleged secret 2018 agreement between Google and Facebook concerning digital advertising violated federal antitrust law. Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Rep Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Rep Mondaire Jones (D-NY) wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Acting US Attorney General Nicholas Ganjei asking them to determine whether federal charges might be warranted.